What are we reading? May 9, 2019


Each week, BIV staff will share with you some of the interesting stories we have found from around the web.

Kirk LaPointe, editor-in-chief:

Chris Hughes on why it is time to break up Facebook: “We are a nation with a tradition of reining in monopolies, no matter how well intentioned the leaders of these companies may be. Mark’s power is unprecedented and un-American.” - The New York Times



A strong look at the man now called the biggest loser. - The New Yorker



Howard Stern is a much more complex character than it first seems. This interactive look is insightful. - The New York Times Magazine



Timothy Renshaw, managing editor:

Coming soon to an underused industrial site near you: cannabis business parks. - CannaHub press release



More scary tales from the licence plate police blotter: Maritimer/Dartmouther Lorne Grabher takes his personalized licence plate battle to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court after the forces of the easily offended revoke his right to use his surname on his plate. Lucky it wasn't the now celebrity Richard Assman. - Justice Centre of Constitutional Freedoms



U.S. power rankings rising as Trumpland's energy consumption, production and exports hit record highs in 2018. - U.S. Energy Information Administration


Mark Falkenberg, deputy managing editor:

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion co-founder Jim Balsillie warns of the metastasizing data-collection power of Google:

 “‘We are cascading toward a surveillance state,’ he said, conjuring a world divided into the watchers and the watched, a world where Big Tech piles up astronomical profits by distilling our everyday experiences into data to monetize – in some instances, doing so ‘without a moral conscience.’” - the Walrus



‘Flexitarianism’ or semi-vegetarianism is prompting multimillion-dollar companies – including meat producers – to bite into the booming subsector of plant-based proteins. - CBC



Nelson Bennett, reporter

Child-killer’s self-identification as indigenous makes a mockery of Canadian penal system. Terri-Lynne McClintic, convicted of the brutal murder of an eight-year-old girl, was last year transferred to a low-security healing lodge for indigenous women, despite the fact her own brother has told Global News she’s not indigenous. As Chris Selley points out, it’s just one of the more high profile cases in what appears to be a trend – criminals claiming to be indigenous, and corrections officials accepting their claims without question. - National Post



Vancouverites are impatient to see ride-sharing finally become a reality. While ride-sharing will give them more options, it could aggravate the Lower Mainland’s traffic congestion problem, if San Francisco is anything to go by. As MIT Technology Review points out, a recent study concludes that ride-hailing services like Lyft and Uber may have actually increased traffic congestion in San Francisco. - MIT Technology Review



Tyler Orton, reporter:

The fight for the bundle is the war for the future of TV: So we’ve all decided the cut the cord, but are we going to be too enticed by the content offered by other streamers to the point we aren’t actually saving money? - Recode https://www.vox.com/recode/2019/5/2/18518666/bundle-tv-hbo-disney-netflix-apple-amazon-war


Viktor Orbán’s War on Intellect: Michael Ignatieff gets more favourable coverage here than he did that brief moment he was leading the federal Liberals. Aside from that, this pieces offers a disheartening take on how tyranny is taking hold in other parts of the world. - The Atlantic -https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/06/george-soros-viktor-orban-ceu/588070/


Glen Korstrom, reporter:

With summer picnics on the way, it is a good time of year to be thinking about the viability of packaging wine in cans as a way to reduce weight. Purists and traditionalists may scoff but the canned-wine phenomenon is rapidly growing: 66% last year, sevenfold in the past three years. It is still less than half of one percent of total wine sales, but that could change. - New York Times



Denver voters on May 7 approved a measure to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms, indicating what could be the next battleground for advocates of loosened drug laws. This piece puts that vote in context with what’s happening in California, Oregon and Washington State, as well as in the 2020 presidential race, where Joe Biden is the rare Democrat to oppose legalizing cannabis. - Forbes